Best Practices

Benefits of In-Context Video Translation

Yes, there are amazing free tools on Youtube for instance that will automatically transcribe, caption, and subtitle your video in different languages for free.
Gabriel Fairman
2 min
Table of Contents

Yes, there are amazing free tools on Youtube for instance that will automatically transcribe, caption, and subtitle your video in different languages for free. And while we take our hats off to the tech prowess that Youtube has introduced to the multilingual video universe, our experience tells us that this tech is far from delivering reliable results when it comes to sensitive content.Here is a summary of why:


Automatic transcription in English can result in more than 90% accuracy considering carefully enunciated diction. But the 10% can be disastrous. Homonyms and homophones can be mistranscribed resulting in potentially embarrassing impacts in English, not to mention other languages. The “Bored of Directors” for instance may sound witty, except when it isn’t. In addition when you get introduced to slang, idioms, faster diction, and less clear enunciation, transcription error rates increase significantly.


The captioning process will often break subtitles in strange places that will compromise the user experience. Rather than breaking for instance at the end of a sentence, or a concept, the line breaks can often make the viewer's experience into a clumsy one.


When you add the machine translation to this challenging setup, the end result is at best ok, but typically messy. And in today’s world, messy is simply not acceptable. Users and viewers are becoming more and more demanding when it comes to the quality of the content they receive regardless of their language. And if you get low receptivity to your content your bottom line will suffer.

Bureau Works

Now that we have recapped what Youtube can do for you and why in most business applications it will not suffice, let’s talk about our approach at Bureau Works:

  1. We begin by analyzing the video content to check whether we will only subtitle or work with on-screen text (typical in marketing and e-learning content);
  2. We use software for an initial transcription of the video content and then have professional linguists adjust and time-code the transcribed content as well as extract any on-screen text;
  3. We start the translation process with our proprietary translation management system that allows translators to see how their translations render in real-time;
  4. We coordinate the in-market review process when clients desire their local marketing teams to sign off on the video content;
  1. Our multimedia experts will then rebuild and QA the final video assets prior to delivery.

Now with video preview linguists get a deeper context while translating video content.

Other solutions provided by translation agencies can also address the issues of reliability and quality but often result in a costly and time-intensive process. Our proprietary tools can cut the entire time-to-international-markets in over 3 days per video asset and address key pain points in the video internationalization process.

Pain point 1 - Reviewers have to sign off on content using the video just as a reference

Without a tool like Bureau Works that renders translated subtitles in real-time with a fully equipped translation editor, reviewers often have to analyze subtitles without seeing how they render in real-time. Reviewers report that it's challenging for them to infer how the content will actually feel once rendered. This often results in last-minute change requests once they finally get to see how their translations show up in the translated videos. Either that or you need to add one more stage of review where reviewers just sign off on the final rendered video content.

Paint point 2 - So much manual work and so many steps

Without the ease of Bureau Works in order to build a fully reliable and scalable process, you need so many different steps and so much manual work that it’s challenging to manage and nearly impossible to scale

Paint point 3 - Knowledge management nightmare

Even if you do use amazing video review software like or other great tools out there, they are not meant for multilingual knowledge management. Your reviewer flags a change at 5.34 “hat” for “cap”. How do you ensure that this change will flow into your translation libraries (translation memory and glossaries)? You can’t. It’s a manual, error-prone process and the end result is that client reviewer changes may never make it to the correct knowledge repositories. Mistakes will be made again which will result in lost time, lost efficiency, and frustration.


The Video translation process is complex by definition. There are literally moving parts, many different elements and overall very few tools in the market focused on addressing this particular pain point. Bureau Works was born to address these issues and complexities. Our clients report the difference between night and day in terms of time-to-market, efficiency, and process reliability. We handle global launches for large enterprises such as Harley-Davidson, Kraft-Heinz, and Zendesk. Our process ensures that:

  • knowledge is preserved and leveraged towards the future even with multimedia assets;
  • Client reviewers get to see what they get, expediting their review and process and ensuring better results;
  • Everyone gets to see in real-time how the overall project is progressing and who is working on what;
  • Consumers get higher quality content earlier which enhances your company’s ability to capitalize on your content effectively.
Gabriel Fairman
Founder and CEO of Bureau Works, Gabriel Fairman is the father of three and a technologist at heart. Raised in a family that spoke three languages and having picked up another three over the course of his life, he's fascinated by the role of language in shaping identity. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Gabriel was honored with the 2023 Innovator of the Year Award at LocWorld Silicon Valley. He enjoys cooking, playing the guitar, and leading teams toward innovation.
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